Omnipollo Hilma Vanilla Flippin’ Burgers Fries India Pale Ale – American IPA at 6.5% ABV

Omnipollo Hilma Vanilla Flippin’ Burgers Fries India Pale Ale American IPA at 6.5% ABV (C$8.75 at Collective, 330 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 19-Aug-2018)

Appearance: hazy straw with one finger of rocky pale ivory head, good retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: creamy citrus, pale malt, pine, mild vanilla, vegetal. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium slightly creamy body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

I might be imagining it because I know they actually added burger buns (no meat!) and fries to this, but I find myself wondering if there really is a slightly potato skin-like vegetal note towards the end. Other than that, it’s… well, I was going to say “normal”, but of course it’s not, not really. “More straightforward”, perhaps? Creamy citrus dominates the front end, much like a creamsicle, which is reinforced by the mild vanilla, and extra complexity is added by the pine and previously mentioned vegetal hint. All in all, a pleasant and enjoyable offering, if tending slightly towards the middle rear of the pack when it comes to Omnipollo. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Brasserie Dunham Cyclope Thêta IPA – American IPA at 5.7% ABV | 60 IBU

Brasserie Dunham Cyclope Thêta IPA American IPA at 5.7% ABV | 60 IBU (C$4.15 at Collective, 341 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 19-Aug-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale straw with two fat fingers of rocky white head, excellent retention and moderate soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: bright citrus, melon, tropical fruit, pale malt, minerals. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (7/10) Palate: medium body tending thin, moderate carbonation, dry bitter finish. (3/5)

I had high hopes for this upon first pouring and smelling it – other than a somewhat pale appearance, everything seemed extremely promising, especially the bright citrus aroma buttressed by hints of melon and tropical fruit. On the tongue, however, the flavours seemed, if not muted, nowhere near as emphatic as the aroma. The downward trend continued into the finish, where the medium body fell quickly flat and thinnish despite decent carbonation. Overall it’s not terrible by any means, but I think I’m more disappointed by its failure to be great than I have been by many beers that actually were terrible. (14/20)

7/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Rogue Ales Combat Wombat – American IPA at 7.2% ABV | 49 IBU

Rogue Ales Combat Wombat American IPA at 7.2% ABV | 49 IBU (C$10.70 at Collective, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 18-Aug-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one finger of loose white head diminishing rapidly to a thin skim, no lacing. (3/5) Aroma: lactic sour, citrus, tropical fruit, pale malt, melon. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building bitter boozy finish. (4/5)

That’s gotta be right up there for best names ever – it’s what Kung-Fu Panda should have been. Clearly, the “wombat” moniker refers to the ANZ hops (Vic Secret and Galaxy FTW!!!), and the 7.2% ABV is certainly confrontational enough to constitute combat. Don’t get me wrong: the shine is completely off the apple for me when it comes to kettle sours. This, however, isn’t a a kettle sour, as such, but a citrusy IPA tweaked with a lactic adjunct that plays well to its strengths. It’s not without its flaws, certainly – it’s yet another “Northeast-style” IPA that’s apparently been brewed by (admittedly competent) brewers who’ve never actually had the style they’re brewing – but stylistic pedantry aside, this is a fun, flavourful beer, even if it could stand to be prettier. (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Arkose Brewery Mandarina Moose Grapefruit IPA – American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 72 IBU

Arkose Brewery Mandarina Moose Grapefruit IPA American IPA at 6.2% ABV | 72 IBU (C$10.95 at Collective, 650 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 18-Aug-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy medium amber with one fat finger of fluffy ivory head, good retention and heavy soapy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: caramel & toffee, citrus, floral, pine, buttery diacetyl. (5/10) Taste: moderate-high sweet, high bitter. (6/10) Palate: medium oily body, moderate carbonation, off-dry building bitter boozy finish. (3/5)

Was hoping for more Mandarina (and less moose?) to be honest. (Though, y’know, Mandarina is one of those hops that’s never really seemed to deliver, in my experience – it seems like I always expect more citrus than it actually ends up providing.) This has a buttload of caramel and toffee, and bugger all grapefruit, if you ask me. And I’m not one to complain about a warming finish, but it tastes entirely too boozy for its relatively modest 6.2% ABV. Up to that point, one might be forgiven for brewing an old-school malty A/IPA, but the buttery diacetyl (maybe why I’m getting toffee?) is completely unforgivable. It’s entirely possible this is a shelf turd and that it’s better fresh, but I’ve got no way of knowing that, now do I? I’m through giving benefit of the doubt: if you don’t want me thinking your beer always tastes like shit, date the fucking bottles. (12/20)

6/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Canmore Brewing Company Misty Mountain Hops – American IPA at 6.4% ABV | 55 IBU

Canmore Brewing Company Misty Mountain Hops American IPA at 6.4% ABV | 55 IBU (C$3.75 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 12-Jul-2018, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 18-Aug-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy straw with two fat fingers of fluffy pale ivory head, good retention and moderate stringy lacing. (4/5) Aroma: tropical fruit, citrus, pale malt, dank resiny pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter, light tart. (7/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry moderate bitter finish. (4/5)

A really good beer that isn’t even close to its claimed style of NEIPA. It’s hazy, sure, but only barely, and far more straw in colour than any self-respecting NEIPA I’ve known. Fruit might lead the way on the nose, but there’s also a definite dank pine note that, if not actually inappropriate for the style, is atypical. Most grievously, the bitterness is much higher than appropriate. None of these characteristics are negatives in general, of course, but I’m left wondering how to rank this. Hell with it, I like it. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Sierra Nevada Sidecar Orange IPA – American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 45 IBU

Sierra Nevada Sidecar Orange IPA American IPA at 6.8% ABV | 45 IBU (C$3.55 at Collective, 355 ml, packaged on 27-Apr-2018, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 16-Aug-2018)

Appearance: slightly hazy pale gold with one fat finger of creamy white head, excellent retention and well-defined lacing. (5/5) Aroma: orange peel, citrus flesh, caramel, pine, floral, grass. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, oily lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Possibly not everyone’s cup of tea, but I like this a lot. The orange peel is clearly present, but doesn’t utterly overwhelm the underlying citrus, caramel, and pine of the base IPA. I’ve called the bitter moderate, which it is, on the front end, but the oily orange peel builds in the finish, and it ends up being more astringent and bitter than you might expect for 45 IBU. Which I like, but again, your mileage may vary. The big citrus presence ends up making this feel almost like a Radler – if you were to make one with an Imperial IPA. (17/20)

8.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Russell Brewing Company Dazy Double Hazy IPA – American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV | 46 IBU

Russell Brewing Company Dazy Double Hazy IPA American Double / Imperial IPA at 8.5% ABV | 46 IBU (C$5.70 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 6-Jun-2018, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 16-Aug-2018)

Appearance: hazy deep gold with two fingers of loose pale ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: resiny pine, grainy caramel, zesty citrus, floral, grass. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate-high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

Double? Check. Hazy? Check. IPA? Sure, why not, it doesn’t mean anything anymore anyway. So, that’s all the boxes checked, let’s go drinking! (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Russell Brewing Company Mango Milkshake IPA – American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 36 IBU

Russell Brewing Company Mango Milkshake IPA American IPA at 6.5% ABV | 36 IBU (C$4.70 at Collective, 473 ml, packaged on 14-Jun-2018, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 16-Aug-2018)

Appearance: opaque medium gold with two fingers of loose pale ivory head diminishing rapidly to a thin cap, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mango, stone fruit, citrus, caramel, pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter, light tart. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry medium bitter lightly tart finish. (4/5)

Yep, that’s mango, all right. Pretty heavy on the fruit juice overall, actually, which is by no means a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. Not a lot of “milkshake” character (more fruit purée), but since I’m moderately lactose intolerant, again, not necessarily a bad thing. Decent, but not particularly memorable. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Latitude 33º Brewing Meridian Myst – American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 44 IBU

Latitude 33º Brewing Meridian Myst American Pale Ale at 5.2% ABV | 44 IBU (C$5.00 at Collective, 473 ml, no packaging date or best before, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 16-Aug-2018)

Appearance: opaque straw with two fat fingers of fluffy ivory head, good retention and spotty lacing. (4/5) Aroma: dank resiny pine, citrus, grainy caramel, floral. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, moderate bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body tending slightly watery, moderate carbonation, off-dry short duration finish. (3/5)

I have zero idea what the label notes are on about, since 33N33W is smack in the middle of the Atlantic, and 33N33E in the Mediterranean. (Yes, the other two locations are equally watery.) Anyhoo, beer-wise this is actually fairly decent, except that it falls down slightly in the mouth feel, which tends to fall slightly flat and watery. (15/20)

7.5/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com

Central City Brewers + Distillers Red Racer Superfruit IPA – American IPA at 5.8% ABV | 65 IBU

Central City Brewers + Distillers Red Racer Superfruit IPA American IPA at 5.8% ABV | 65 IBU (C$2.90 at Collective, 500 ml, packaged on 13-Jul-2018, acquired 14-Aug-2018, reviewed 14-Aug-2018)

Appearance: hazy pale amber with one fat finger of loose white head diminishing gradually to a thin skim and ring, spotty lacing. (3/5) Aroma: mango, passionfruit, bready caramel, light pine. (8/10) Taste: moderate sweet, high bitter. (8/10) Palate: medium body, moderate carbonation, off-dry lingering bitter finish. (4/5)

You know what? I’ve been married to the same woman for 24 years next week, and faithful to her for longer than that. I’ve got nothing to prove to anybody, so I’m sufficiently secure in my sexuality that I have no problem proclaiming my love of Superfruit. … though, “love” might be a bit excessive. “I like you so let’s see where this goes”, perhaps? Would that make me alcoholically bicurious? (And the price is certainly right, so is that a factor?) (16/20)

8/10 #ryansbooze ryansbooze.com